- 21 September 2010 | Windsurfing
Starboard's first foray into pure light-wind windsurfing started in 2005 with the release of the Serenity. Today, Starboard's lightwind offering covers all the disciplines from freerace to raceboarding, lightwind wavesailing to cruising, on boards such as the Phantom Race, the SUPer series and of course, the Serenity Mk II
Late 2009, a Starboard survey with windsurfers around the world revealed a stunning statistic: 75% of windsurfers today started windsurfing through a friend or family, yet most of us who windsurf today own boards too small to teach others with. Effectively, windsurfing lost its most dynamic catalyst.
As a result, Starboard launched the Friends and Family program to help recreate this catalyst, seeking growth within windsurfing through sharing with friends and family.
To explore the idea further from a product design perspective, Tiesda wanted to start from a clean sheet to come up with an entirely new design, focusing purely on this Friends and Family concept. Enter the Serenity Cat.
Tiesda You explains further, "The Serenity Cat is our case study to explore how far we could push the concept of sharing windsurfing. We want to see how a totally different approach can transform the windsurfing experience. It started as a bit of fun but we quickly discovered some really interesting things".
To maximize the ability to share windsurfing, we need an ultra stable shape that can carry up to two or three passengers. The design has to be more stable than any other board we have ever conceived.
To maximize the fun, we need a board that glides effortlessly and is packed full of features to make cruising social and most enjoyable. The logical design is a twin hull design. It's based on two Serenities fitted to a large, raised upper deck shaped to carry up to two passengers.
Most of the preliminary work was about finding the right volume in the two hulls, the right height for the upper deck and the right positioning of the mast track and fins. The hardest was to find a setting that is balanced when used both solo and with passengers on board.
One thing comes to mind when people see the Serenity Cat before they try it: everyone thinks it will be hard to maneuver. Get on board however and discover that the Serenity Cat turns just like any other board, just as easily and just as quickly.
Then, two big first impressions hit you. First is the incredible stability. It is rock solid and it feels like you're sailing on a small island. But the greatest feeling of all is the effortless and speedy glide. With its twin round hull design, the Serenity Cat glides beautifully and accelerates in the lightest of breezes.
But it's when you get onboard with your friend or whoever that this board really becomes exciting. It really is a different experience altogether. Paddle together, bring up the sail and windsurfing together; you can teach or learn, you can just cruise around, chat and have a good time. It's really pretty cool. The raised side walls of the upper deck keeps the sail dry so uphauling is always light and easy.
Starboard is figuring out how to bring this product to the market. By the end of the month, the finished product in all its glory will be unveiled.